Sports fans want games on TV but are ready to cut the cord
Grabyo’s 2019 Sports Video Trends Report has revealed that over half of global consumers watch sport on a regular basis, with 45% of sports fans watching it more often than anything else, and the majority on their smartphones.
The report follows on from Grabyo’s 2019 Global Video Trends Report, which surveyed over 9,690 people across the UK, United States, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Australia. Grabyo’s Sports Video Trends Reports explores the video consumption habits and preferences of a segment of 2,300 consumers. These are the sports fanatics who watch sports content more often than anything else.
In today’s market, pay-TV broadcasters hold the rights to the world’s most valuable sports properties. The report confirms that linear rights acquisitions are slowing the rate of cord cutting among sports fans. Over half of sports fanatics pay for TV services today.
However, the consumer shift to online streaming has not left sports fans behind. Despite showing loyalty to pay-TV providers for live sport, die-hard sports fans watch most often on smartphones (65%) and laptop or desktop computers (53%). TV sets are used most regularly by around 40% of sports fanatics, showing the demand for sports content outside of the mainstream TV viewing schedules.
Almost 25% of sports fans use social media platforms more often than pay-TV to watch video. Just under 1 in 5 of die-hard sports fans visit social media with the intent to watch video every time.
The report defines how changing consumption habits in sport have been shaped by the changes in technology and viewing preferences, behaviors that were shaped in the entertainment industry for TV. The rise of online streaming platforms has changed consumer priorities, shifting demands towards convenience, flexibility and lower prices.
In the sports media market, linear broadcasters have an advantage by committing huge sums to acquire the most valuable media rights, but emerging sports-focused OTT platforms such as DAZN, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV and Kayo Sports are growing in their respective markets and challenging the status quo.
Gareth Capon, Grabyo CEO, commented: “Consumer expectations have changed. Sports fans are looking at other media services available across a range of devices and platforms and see more flexibility than is available in sports. Digital distribution has grown across online platforms and social media and consumers have flocked to these platforms. However, in today’s media rights market, linear broadcasters dominate and sports fans have no choice if they want to watch live sport. Our data suggests that the demand is there and if an online competitor – perhaps Amazon, or YouTube – invest in a meaningful live offering, then consumers will welcome this with open arms and the shift to digital media in sport will accelerate.”